Vnet delivers Quality of Service (QoS) streaming over the public Internet with its true-edge multi-point-to-point distribution. It offers scalability at all data levels, since it simply performs better the the more users it has. It can be used stand-alone or integrated with an existing streaming architecture or Online Video Platform (OVP). Regardless, it offloads on average 95% of normal distribution load. Given its decentralized architecture, Vnet is inherently secure, but of course it also supports DRM systems. Vnet is patented, proven, scalable and completely software based.
Making full use of existing decentralized resources…
Vnet is built up of the end users’ storage and bandwidth, creating a decentralized resource network. A small installation on each consumer device makes the device work like a small edge server. The installation is either done by the consumer, as a download of the Vnet-app, or comes pre-installed on the device. A full Vnet node then receives, stores and distributes data to other nodes in the network, creating a huge virtual distributed delivery network and hard drive. To allow for full flexibility, Vnet distinguishes between ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ devices and only strong devices, such as PCs or set top boxes (STBs), become active nodes; weak devices become ‘full leachers’ – receiving but not seeding the network.
Unlike centrally based solutions, Vnet only grows stronger with every new consumer device – or node – that attaches to the network. Rephrased: the more people that use Vnet, the better it performs. This means that Vnet scales to all conceivable future levels of data traffic. Vnet also interfaces seamlessly with existing streaming networks, allowing for fallback to CDN-based streaming for less popular content or in early roll-out phases.
…while maintaining full security and central control
While the network itself is decentralized, access to the network is centrally controlled for both publishing and accessing content. Content can only be published from a central server, making unauthorized publication into Vnet impossible. Although the Vnet nodes live on end-consumer devices, they can only be accessed and managed only by a central Vnet-administrator.
Importantly, the streamed content is never stored in full on the end-user devices. Parts of the content remain on the end-users hard drive, but never the full file. Furthermore, the content is broken up into slices, where each slice is encrypted, and here each slice furthermore can be wrapped in the DRM-solution of choice. Given how each content piece is broken up into encrypted slices, Vnet has security and content protection built into its core architecture. Never does one full copy of the content exist in any one place in the distributed network.
Vnet further integrates with into any Online Video Platforms (OVPs), such as Voddler’s own OVP or other industry-leading OVPs. This allows for control of access rights (time and geographies) and revenue models for each content piece and user. Vnet supports integration with standard DRM-solutions, encrypting content on two levels: the content file itself and the node-to-node communication. The streams in the network are therefore virtually impossible to copy.
Combining decentralized distribution and centralized control – that’s Vnet!
Vnet thus combines the best of two worlds: the scalability and QoS of decentralized and distributed solutions, with the centralized control and rights management of server-based streaming solutions. Combined, the result is a unique decentralized and managed streaming solution.
Vnet’s architecture is device agnostic, allowing VOD-solutions to be implemented on all device types and screen sizes. Vnet also enables offline use at virtually no cost to the service provider.
Core to Vnet’s design is its constant striving to find an optimal balance between supply and demand. It is always – and in real time – balancing which data to push and pull between nodes. For instance, a popular title will spread more widely in the network, as nodes push the content pieces to other nodes in anticipation of coming requests; and conversely, a less requested title stops populating across the network and is slowly removed from the nodes.
Seamless offloading of existing CDN-architecture
Vnet integrates seamlessly with central servers or CDN-based solutions, allowing for stepwise or complementary roll-out.
Vnet will off-load from the CDN to match consumer demand and usage patterns. Vnet can off-load up to 100% of the most popular content, while a less popular title will be less widely dispersed. In the case that only a single view of a particular title is requested, then off-loading Is 0% and regular CDN delivery occurs.
Between 2009 and 2010, Vnet powered Voddler Group’s own pioneering VOD-service voddler.com. This service grew methodically and virally to 1.2 million registered users in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, distributing hundreds of thousands of movies every month – at 5% of the distribution cost of any other VOD-service. In the course of growing its service, Voddler signed over 30 content deals with the world’s leading film publishers, including the Hollywood majors. All content partners signed off on Vnet as the streaming technology and its p2p-based distribution mechanism.
In addition to breaking path for the many VOD-services that have followed, both in Voddler’s home market of Scandinavia and abroad, our VOD-service also introduced some pioneering new features. At voddler.com, users could upload their own digital movie files to keep for easy access on the service; a feature dubbed LiveShelf. In addition, users could also invite a limited number of friends to view their cloud-stored movies, just like they would invite friends over to watch their physical movies; this feature was dubbed ViewShare. Both features were covered in detail by international media at the time of launch. None of these services would of course be operationally or financially viable without the efficiency or cost effectiveness of Vnet.